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Thursday, March 4, 2021

BN and Harapan: Takiyuddin statement contrary to king's view on Parliament


BN today took a jab at de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan over his statement on postponing the Parliament sitting.

The coalition's chairperson Zahid Hamidi (above) said it was as if Takiyuddin had challenged the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's views and insulted the constitutional monarchy.

"BN lawmakers hold on to the oath to execute their duty and responsibility to protect and defend the constitution.

"In this matter, BN apologises to the Agong if the minister's statement has hurt the Agong's feelings," he said.

Yesterday, Takiyuddin said the Parliament sitting remained suspended on legal grounds to help the government combat the Covid-19 pandemic more effectively.

The PAS minister also drew attention after he said the government did not want to expose lawmakers to Covid-19 as many of them fall in the high-risk group.

According to him, out of the 220 MPs, 77 are aged 61 to 69, 19 are between 70 and 79, and four are aged 80 and above.

The relationship between BN and Bersatu in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government has worsened after Umno sent a letter to Bersatu informing them of their intentions to go their own way once the 15th general election (GE15) is called.

Prior to forming the PN government, Umno and PAS formed the Muafakat Nasional alliance but the latter was seen as leaning towards Bersatu after the three Malay-majority parties joined hands to form the government.

PAS has officially joined the PN coalition while Umno refused to do so. The Muafakat pact was also never officially registered.

Following the emergency, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the Parliament sitting would be suspended which sparked massive criticism from many lawmakers, notably from the opposition bench as well as some in Umno.

De facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan

However, recently, the Agong expressed the view that Parliament can convene during the emergency at a date he deems appropriate and based on the advice from the prime minister.

Zahid, who is the Umno president, appealed to the king to order a Parliament sitting to be held as soon as possible for lawmakers to debate on several crucial matters.

They include the emergency declaration, the effectiveness of the measures to contain Covid-19 outbreak, and the effectiveness of Budget 2021 especially regarding the welfare of the B40 (bottom 40 percent of income earners) and M40 (middle 40 percent of income earners) groups.

Zahid also said he is ready to seek an audience with the king to offer his views on the country's socio-economic growth.

Meanwhile, Pakatan Harapan chairperson Anwar Ibrahim also expressed the coalition's disappointment with Takiyuddin's statement.

"The de facto law minister's statement yesterday that the cabinet had advised the Agong to not have the Parliament to convene was very disappointing and it's against the king's view," Anwar said in a statement.

Hence, Anwar said Harapan appealed to the king to use his authority to call for a Parliament session to be held as soon as possible.

Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who has been vocal against Muhyiddin, also chimed in regarding the Agong's role in the matter.

"In judging any justification for the proroguing of Parliament, the Agong must be sensitive to the responsibility to the nation.

"Article 55 of the Constitution is very clear in the constitutional duty of the Agong. It is not a function; it is a constitutional duty, and that duty cannot be compromised.

"The constitution demands that the Agong should not allow any lapse in the calling of the Parliament beyond six months," he said in a statement. - Mkini

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